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About me


I have a need to compose. For the last ten years I’ve been concentrating on it full-time. Each morning I’ve been able to pick up where I left off the day before, and to take advantage of my subconscious mind’s nocturnal adventures, using them in the musical material I’m working on.


I can imagine that composing is like a reverse pregnancy. First of all you have to suffer all the pains of hell to get started, to get a grip on something, to overcome doubt. Then comes the growth phase, when the feelings of strength and depression alternate, in an ongoing process. When the work is finally born you may experience a moment of elation, a blissful weariness. That’s how a work came into being now, though it’s not finished, for like the stone of Sisyphus, it and everything else you have – and have not – composed will roll back down the hill again. You are back to square one.


The moments of joy come when the musician takes hold of the work and brings it to life.
Without life, there is no life.


If I don't think “in music”, I think linguistically. If I can't put it into words, I compose. I have put my thoughts into a linguistic form through hundreds of columns, articles, and concert reviews (e.g. Hämeen Sanomat), and that is also part of my teaching and lecturing.


Nowadays I prefer not to write reviews, but I don't want to give up other writing, or lecturing.


My work between 1978 and 2013 was largely in the field of management and the development of music education (Lapua Music Institute, Riihimäki Music Institute, Tampere Conservatoire, Pirkanmaa, and Tampere Universities of Applied Sciences, Tampere Music Academy). I have tried to make learning accessible to children and young people.

I have also taught and given lectures in Finland and Spain on topics such as the philosophy of art, the development of Western art music through the centuries, and composition. I believe that teaching means learning together with others.


I have also been the artistic and operational director of several music festivals (Lapua Music Week, Riihimäki Summer Concerts, Tampere Biennale). I like to organise musical experiences, not only by composing, but also by organising performances. At its best, a festival forms an artistic whole, whose parts support each other, and which adds up to something unique.


I studied at the University of Turku in the 1970s and graduated with a Master’s degree in Musicology, with minors in Theoretical Philosophy, Cultural History and Education.


A decisive influence in my life has been Professor Jouko Tolonen, under whose demanding guidance I learned the traditional tools of the composer: counterpoint, harmony, form and stylistic analysis, and music’s connection to the world and culture around us.


Before coming to Turku, I had studied piano at the South Ostrobothnian Music Institute. In Turku I continued my studies under the guidance of lecturer Matti Haapasalo. He taught me many essential things about piano playing and how to approach works in different styles.


I also learned a lot from working with musicians. The feedback you get from composition is itself a good lesson.


I have often said that working in the ports of Turku and Helsinki, doing a job when my name was called out, has taught me as much as studying at university. I still think so. My studies had to be financed one way or another, my way was to apply for a relatively well-paid but heavy stevedoring job when the money ran out. The lifestyle of the ports and pushing myself to the limit taught me about the realities of life, and people skills.


+358 45 173 2140



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